Falling In Love With Your Postpartum Body
The metamorphosis your body goes through to make you a mother is remarkable. Even though most days you may feel less like a butterfly and more like Kafka’s insect, this new body you are in is yours for the long haul. My advice? Start loving your body today and you will be a happier person tomorrow. The stretch-marks, the scars, the cellulite. Love it. Love ALL of it. You are so much more than a few stripes on your belly. You’re a mother, mama. Own it. Here’s a few reminders to help you fall in love with your body after baby.
Scars & Stripes
Your body is capable of remarkable things. Sometimes we are left with permanent reminders of a season of our lives. I’m talking about scars and stretch-marks. Some women have them. Some women don’t. Maybe you had a c-section, maybe you needed an episiotomy. Maybe you had new stretch marks emerging daily throughout your pregnancy. Own them. Own these scars and stripes as badges of honor.
Do not be ashamed of what your body went through to carry that baby into the world. For anyone that has a problem with your scars and stretch-marks, it is simply that: it is THEIR problem, not yours. Be proud of what your body did for you and for your little one. It was no small feat, and you deserve to love this body exactly the way it is.
Your body may be a little different now that you’ve had a baby. You might not fit back into your favorite jeans, or if you’re anything like yours truly, your boobs are now the size of a house and simply will not fit into any pre-baby shirts. Such is life. You might need some new clothes for your new body. Retail clothing sizes can be a black abyss of sadness and discouragement. Do not be discouraged by sizing.
If you used to fit into a Medium and you now require an Extra Large, that is OKAY. There is absolutely nothing wrong with needing to size up or down depending on where your body is at. A size on a clothing tag is just a size. There is nothing wrong with being an XS or an XXL or anything below, above, or inbetween. The size you are, is the size you are. Do not be discouraged because of a label. You are so much more than a label. You are a mother, and you deserve to love your body exactly the way it is.
Laugh at the Little Things
Giving yourself grace is the key to loving your body after baby. You simply must appreciate everything about what your body has done. And also laugh at how ridiculous your body is acting now that you’ve had your kid. Is your leg hair now growing around your ankles and to the top of your foot? Hilarious, me too. Are your boobs leaking through six sets of nipple pads a day? Been there. Is your urethra now kinked somewhere along your ureter and you now piss sideways with the strength of a firehose? Girl, same.
Laugh it off. It happens to all of us. Our bodies went through so many changes so quickly over the 40+ weeks of pregnancy, and however long we labored for. Unless these things are causing you physical pain (seriously, go see your doctor if that’s the case), laugh it off. You can be mad about peeing at a 37 degree angle through the gap between the toilet seat and the bowl, or you can just clean it up and laugh about it. Your body gave you a beautiful baby, and you deserve to love your body just the way it is; firehose urethra and all.
Whatever you need to do to love your body after baby, do it. Motherhood is such an amazing privilege, and our time as mothers is much better spent loving ourselves the way we are. How much easier would motherhood be if we embraced every imperfection as a badge of honor? How much easier will it be to teach our children to appreciate their bodies the way they are, if we do the same?
Let’s all promise each other to love our body just as it is, and for everything it has done for us. We can shake on it or we can get cupcakes. Your choice. What? Cupcakes? Okay deal.